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P1 IML LE128 26 LE128 Vorderer cls September 27 2005 13 36 CHAPTER 26 Video Games for Entertainment and Education Ute Ritterfeld University of Southern California Rene Weber Michigan State University While the morality of games and their ethical implications in an educational context have been questioned from the very beginning of game technology evolution e g McLean 1978 video games1 have become not only increasingly attractive for players of both genders Burke 2000 various ethnicities Bickham et al 2003 and ages IDSA 2003 but are also utilized more and more for educational purposes see for example the annual serious games summit http www seriousgamessummit com Thus studying the education potential for this new and controversial medium is of tremendous importance Although comprehensive effect theories on the specific impact of video game playing are still missing more than a decade of research provides us with an impressive body of literature demonstrating mostly negative but also significant positive effects see for introduction Mitchell Savill Smith 2004 The majority of research has focused on the potential negative effects of video game playing however this is due to an abundance of studies on violent games and does not reflect the potential of video games as a medium While Weber Ritterfeld and Kostygina chap 24 discuss the findings on violent video game playing hostility and aggression Lee and Peng chap 22 as well as Lieberman chap 25 give a comprehensive overview on effect studies with an emphasis on learning and Durkin chap 21 further elaborates the benefits of video game playing for adolescents This chapter focuses on the potential of video game playing to facilitate developmental processes through the unique combination of interactive entertainment and learning while at the same time taking a rather theoretical perspective The term developmental processes refers to an understanding of media usage and effects in the context of human development Human

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